Mmegi Online :: Masisiís influence, leadership under threat
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Last Updated
Wednesday 14 November 2018, 18:34 pm.
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Masisiís influence, leadership under threat

With less than two months to go before President Ian Khama kisses his presidency goodbye, the appointment of some high-ranking senior public servants is seen in some quarters as sabotage on the leadership of incoming president, Mokgweetsi Masisi.
By Tsaone Basimanebotlhe Fri 09 Feb 2018, 12:55 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Masisiís influence, leadership under threat








Masisi is scheduled to take over from Khama on April 1, 2018. The outgoing Khama leaves office on March 31, 2018.

The recent appointments have attracted criticism from public sector unions and even some members of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP). The move is also seen as a way to block Masisi’s influence in the public service. 

Observers are of the view that Khama wants to consolidate power before he leaves and he will succeed with the help of the Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) Carter Morupisi.

“He wants to rule from the grave and with the assistance of the PSP, he will manage that,” the source said. It is alleged that a majority of the promoted senior public officers are loyalists of Morupisi.

As such, when Masisi takes over, he will be a lame duck President, they argued.

This argument is also shared by the Botswana Federation of Public Private Parastatals Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU) publicity secretary, Mogomotsi Motshegwa who argued that even if it was the prerogative of the PSP to make such appointments after consulting with the sitting President, “this time around there was no need for him to rush to make such decisions when the current President is vacating office within a month”.

“Morupisi could have waited for Masisi to occupy the office first for him to have a say on these key positions. These are key politically appointed posts. What if Masisi is not comfortable working with these people, or they sabotage his new ideas. The issue of sabotage obviously crops up because we believe that the people who made appointments are anti-union and they had been blocking talks between unions and the President. They know that Masisi wants to make peace between the union and

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his party,” Motshegwa said.

He said it is going to be difficult for Masisi to bring in people whom he thinks are capable for these posts because the new appointees have already been given contracts.

The BOFEPUSU spokesperson said the move is deliberate because even if the employer is kicked out of the public service, he will still have control since he has his people in strategic posts.

He continued: “They are simply protecting their political interests, which we are all aware of. They have been in control since the administration of President Festus Mogae, even today”.

He said the federation would keep on engaging Masisi if there is need and the BDP labour committee is also engaging them on other issues.

“We will not stop engaging government or politicians because we know other decisions have political influence. The federation cannot win all battles, but it will try its best for the welfare of workers.”

The BDP source said the recent appointments were made to block Masisi’ influence and to advance others’ personal interest so that Masisi fails to appoint his own preferred people. The intention is also to destroy Masisi’s legacy within the public service.

However, political analyst Dr Onalenna Selolwane said Masisi has a year before elections to bring back confidence in the public service.

“In fact, Masisi should overhaul the public service especially key positions such as directors and permanent secretaries amongst others. They could be taken to districts to bring results on same scales. Batswana have lost hope in public service because of high-ranking personnel,” Selolwane said.

She argued that employment contracts could be terminated if one does not deliver. The public service is messed up because there are people in key positions who believe that they are untouchable.”

 

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